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General News of Wednesday, 19 July 2017


A-G to prosecute Ibrahim Mahama over tax issues

The Attorney-General (A-G) may drag former President John Mahama’s brother to court if investigations into tax underpayment by two of his companies are concluded.

Gloria Akuffo told Joy News Evans Mensah Tuesday she had reviewed an initial docket submitted to her office on Ibrahim Mahama's companies and has asked for further investigations to be done.

The GRA had cited the two companies for issuing dud cheques to clear the debts.

“The responsibility of burden is very high…there is a high burden of proof and we want to make sure that if we put this issue it will be [be able to secure conviction],” she said.

She said government investigators have been asked to gather more evidence to make the case unassailable when it is sent to court.

“A suspicion based on suspicion in itself cannot bring about prosecution,” the lawyer said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Engineers and Planners dominated discussions in the media after the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) directed him to pay the sum of GHC12 million owed the state in May, 2017.

The amount represented duty for some heavy equipment Mr Mahama’s companies - MBG Limited and Holman Brothers - cleared at the Tema Port in 2015.

The Ghana Revenue Authority revealed MBG Limited owed it GHS13.15 million and Holman Brothers owed GHS3.71 million in duties.

After series of sessions with EOCO officials, Mr Mahama issued two separate cheques to defray the debts. One of the cheques had the amount GHS10, 216,258.47 and the second GHS2, 176,544.61.

But the former President’s brother may face prosecution if the A-G concludes investigations into his companies’ tax issue and he is found to have engaged in wrongdoing.

Ms Akuffo said the amount paid by the two companies was less than what was expected of them.

“Who is responsible for that?” she asked, adding investigators are looking into that.

She noted it will take time for the investigation to be concluded because it is not as “simple as collecting papers.”

But the opposition National Democratic Congress has maintained government is seeking to hunt the former President’s brother by revisiting the matter.

Deputy NDC General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho said on Joy FM’s Top Story Wednesday the “buccaneering [works of government] must end.”

Although he welcomed government’s position to thoroughly probe the matter, he said it deserves no applause for that.

“It is a common sense position…if the President has woken up to the principle of common sense he will receive no extra applause,” Mr Anyidoho said.